Blackhawks take 3-2 series lead after UC boos them awake in Game 5
The Blackhawks are not used to being booed in their own building, but it happened tonight, after 20 minutes of poor play. It shook the team up, and led them to a win, after losing 2 consecutive game against the Wild in the second round of the playoffs. The Hawks are the first team, in this round, to get scored on first, and still win the game.
The Hawks and Wild were back in Chicago for Game 5. Andrew Shaw is still not playing, and Brandon Bollig has been suspended for 2 games after boarding Keith Ballard in Game 4. However, Peter Regin was back in the lineup, and was an impact player, even with only 11 minutes of play overall throughout the game.
The Wild were the first to open the scoring, 16 minutes into the first frame, with a backhand shot by Erik Haula, which made its way past Corey Crawford, in net for the Blackhawks. The Hawks, in the first period, were outshot, and outworked by the Minnesota team, which resulted in fans booing them off the ice at the end of the period.
They found their feet, however. They got shook up and got back out with more hunger and more determination, and it would only take 9 minutes for Bryan Bickell to make it a 1-1 game, on a tip-in of a Patrick Kane shot. The powerplay goal happened at the end of a very smooth sequence for the Hawks.
The second frame would end at 1-1, with the Blackhawks outshooting the Wild, playing with a lot more grit, going to the net and not trying for fancy goals. Captain Jonathan Toews wasn’t looking for a pretty goal in the 3rd period, crashing the net 4:33 minutes into it, grabbing a Marian Hossa rebound and pushing it past goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, a show of determination from the Hawks captain and his wingers, Hossa and Patrick Sharp.
Despite a really strong push by the Wild at the end of the 3rd to get a tying goal, the score would remain 2-1 - Toews’ goal being his 4th game winning goal of the 2014 playoffs, leading the league in GWGs. Toews also has a franchise-leading has 10 playoffs GWGs in his career.
Game 6, in Minnesota, will be the first chance for the Blackhawks to dispatch the Wild, and go ahead to the Western Conference Finals. They could face either the Ducks or the Kings, whose series is currently tied 2-2.
Game 6 will be on Tuesday May 13th, at 8.00pm ET, and can be seen on TSN, CNBC, and RDS2.